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Personal Finance

5 Financial tips for women in 2021

If you have been mismanaging your money as a woman, it is not too late to get your financial life together and live a balanced life in 2021.

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5 Financial tips for women in 2021, Lifestyle Inflation, African american business woman by the window, Things to accomplish during COVID-19 lockdown

As the year 2021 is fast looming, some people have the sense of being given a fresh start to correct some mistakes they made in the previous year. They start by making notes, either mentally or on paper, their new year resolution that they are determined to accomplish. Though some might stumble over the first steps of change and quietly retreat to old, unhealthy habits.

Setting goals and abiding by them without defaulting is totally not easy, but 50% of your goals can be achieved when you are determined and persevere. Some of the goals are as follows: changing your job, starting a business, setting financial goals, furthering your education, etc.

READ: 6 money savings tips for women in Nigeria

Setting a financial goal is important especially for women who are struggling to gain financial freedom. In as much as some women are financially inclined, some are still struggling with their finances. Reason being that they lack some basic tips about personal finance. For example, budgeting, saving, paying a debt and investing. This lack of financial tips usually makes it difficult for them to handle their finances which can have a negative impact when it comes to creating a solid financial future for themselves.

The good thing is that you can still get your financial life on track for the year 2021 if you are still striving to do so. Here are some Financial tips that will give you a heads-up.

READ: EFInA launches £2m COVID-19 fund for individuals and MSMEs in Nigeria

Here are 5 Financial tips for women in 2021

1. Financial Planning

When setting a financial plan for 2021, it is important to detail what you want to achieve and how long it will take you to actualize it. Personal finance experts usually advised that you need to identify your short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals and strategize on how you can reach them.

Your financial plan must address different aspects of your life. (savings, investing, education, insurance, and estate planning). When you are setting a financial goal, it is important to note how much it will cost, and the date you want to achieve it.

READ: How to make your life work as planned every year

2. Manage your everyday expenses

Women make 75 per cent of retail transactions in Nigeria. This means they often have a good idea of where their money goes. However, it is a good idea to make a list of your regular and essential expenses, so you know the minimum amount of money you need to “keep the lights on”. Also, you need to understand your spending on items with greater variation in cost and track your expenses for at least two weeks to understand your spending patterns.

To make tracking your expense easy, you need to look at your bank statement and bills for 2020 to help you figure out how much you need to set aside each month for your expenses.

READ: EMM Podcast: Why are Nigerian tailors so expensive?

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3. Save first and spend later

The Save first and spend later strategy is the very core of being an empowered and financially savvy woman. Knowing that it is important to put something away for the future before paying for present expenses is so woke and one of the surest pathways to financial freedom.

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You can decide to save with a commercial bank, an online savings platform or buy a piggy box to enable you save at home, whatever works for you.

Saving is important for any woman who wants to gain financial freedom. As you can save towards a goal, which can be saving towards an investment, getting an asset, or even furthering your education.

READ: Stanbic IBTC educates preteens, teenagers on financial literacy

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4. Prepare for a rainy day

Putting money aside for unexpected costs and emergencies improves your ability to withstand financial shocks and gives you peace of mind. We might not know exactly what unexpected costs we will face in the future, but we can be sure that we have money set aside for it.

A ‘rainy day’ fund is a pool of money that we can use to pay for expenses when unexpected events occur. Putting aside money regularly, even a small amount, will help you to build up your ‘rainy day’ fund over time.

A major lesson that the event of 2020 taught us is to have an emergency fund. As the major happening of this year took us unaware.  For example:  If you put aside just 500 daily, you will have savings of N182,500 in a year. The more money you have in your ‘rainy day’ fund, the better prepared you will be. Remember, any money saved for a rainy day is better than none.

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 5. Make Financial Market your friend

Another Financial tip for the year 2021 is to learn how to multiply your money as a woman. You may not necessarily earn great, but with the right strategy, it is easy to make a nice pile from a small sum.  The best way to multiply your money is to make the financial market your friend. A lot of scammers are out there trying to reap people off their hard-earned money in the name of trading on forex/bitcoin.

Though, these digital currencies (Forex/Bitcoin) are genuine, but some miscreants are using them as an avenue to scam people. Some women are so easy to fall prey to quick get rich scheme, nevertheless, it is not a sustainable part as it is fraught with risks not many people can handle.

There is a less risky path that can be learned, it requires an education and the resources to make informed decisions. Your hunting ground to multiply your wealth is a diversified portfolio that includes stocks, bonds, and alternative assets such as real estate, commodities etc.

In a nutshell, if you have been mismanaging your money as a woman, it is not too late to get your financial life together and live a balanced life in 2021. Women are naturally great at balancing priorities, so all you need to do is apply the same logic to money. It is not about hoarding cash or depriving yourself of buying things you love, but it is about understanding that there is wisdom in delayed gratification.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Igwe Sandra

    December 26, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks for your thoughtfulness.

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Personal Finance

5C’s of creditworthiness: What lenders, Investors look for in a business plan

Business owners need to be aware of the criteria lenders and investors use when evaluating the creditworthiness of entrepreneurs seeking financing.

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Five things to consider before securing a loan

Banks usually are not a new venture’s sole source of capital because a bank’s return is limited by the interest rate it negotiates, but its risk could be the entire amount of the loan if the new business fails. Once a business is operational and has an established financial track record, banks become a regular source of financing.

For this reason, the small business owner needs to be aware of the criteria lenders and investors use when evaluating the creditworthiness of entrepreneurs seeking financing.

Will the business that an entrepreneur actually creates look exactly like the company described in the business plan? Of course, not.

The real value in preparing a business plan is not so much in the finished document itself but in the process it goes through – a process in which the entrepreneur learns how to compete successfully in the marketplace. In addition, a solid plan is essential to raising the capital needed to start a business; lenders and investors demand it.

Lenders and investors refer to these criteria as the five C’s of credit.

READ: 5 ways to raise funding for your business

1. Capital: A small business must have a stable income base before any lender is willing to grant a loan. Otherwise, the lender would not be making, in effect, a capital investment in the business. Most banks refuse to make loans that are capital investment because the potential for return on the investment is limited strictly on the interest on the loan, and the potential loss would probably exceed the reward. In addition, the most common reasons that banks give for rejecting small business loan applications are undercapitalization or too much debt. Banks expect a small company to have an equity base investment by the owner(s) that will help support the venture during times of financial strain, which are common during the start-up and growth phases of a business. Lenders and investors see capital as a risk-sharing strategy with entrepreneurs.

2. Capacity: A synonym for capital is cash flow. Lenders and investors must be convinced of the firm’s ability to meet its regular financial obligation and to repay loans, and that takes cash. More small businesses fail from lack of cash than from lack of profit. It is possible for a company to be showing a profit and still have no cash – that is, to be bankrupt. Lenders expect small businesses to pass the test of liquidity, especially for short term loans. Potential lenders and investors examine closely a small company’s cash flow position to decide whether it has the capacity necessary to survive until it can sustain itself.

READ: How to scale as a small business on a budget

3. Collateral: Collateral includes any asset an entrepreneur pledges to a lender as security for repayment of a loan. If the company defaults on a loan, the lender has the right to sell the collateral and use the proceeds to satisfy the loan. Typically, banks make much unsecured loans (those not backed up by collateral) to business start-ups. Bankers view the entrepreneurs’ willingness to pledge collateral (personal or business assets) as an indication of their dedication to making the venture a success. A sound business plan can improve a banker’s attitude towards venture.

4. Character: Before extending a loan or making an investment in a small business, lenders and investors must be satisfied with an entrepreneur’s character. The evaluation of character frequently is based on intangible factors such as honesty, integrity, competence, polish, determination, intelligence, and ability. Although the qualities judged are abstract, this evaluation plays a critical role in the decision to put money into a business or not.

READ: 7 Ways to pay for your higher education

5. Conditions: The conditions surrounding a funding request also affects an entrepreneur’s chances of receiving financing. Lenders and investors consider factors relating to a business’ operation such as potential growth in the market, competition, location, strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. Another important condition influencing the banks is the shape of the overall economy, including interest rate levels, inflation rate, and demand for money. Although these factors are beyond an entrepreneur’s control, they still are an important component in a banker’s decision.

The higher a smaller business scores on the five C’s, the greater its chances of receiving a loan.

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Written by Chukwuma Aguwa

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Personal Finance

Don’t be fooled by COVID-related scams

Always consult the institution in charge of health-related matters to confirm any fishy information you come across.

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The nature of and the manifestation of the Covid-19 disease is such that there’s only a little time available to remedy the situation before it gets chronic. Although the infection begins by exhibiting mild symptoms, if you do nothing in a short time, it could lead to death in a matter of days.

This whole picture has caused many to become desperate about Covid-related issues, launching into panic mode at the sight of any information. As a result, such people are not far away from falling for fraudsters.

With the different kinds of news flying around, you mustn’t be fooled by Covid-related scams.

The Coronavirus threatens the health of millions of people around the world daily, also killing thousands along the way. To curb the spread and remedy the situation, bodies like the CDC, WHO, and every country’s local health organisation like the NCDC, frequently circulate information around communities. However, it has also led to fraudsters taking advantage to provide fake news, and even asking for donations.

Each day, there seems to be a new account or NGO asking for donations into the health sector, and though some are legit, many are just fraudsters posing to take advantage of innocent citizens. So far, numerous complaints about scams have been recorded, especially with people who are looking to support the health cause in any way they can.

READ: Africa to spend $9 billion on Covid-19 vaccine, access to supply is big problem

Channels used for COVID-related scams 

There are three major ways scammers take advantage of the haziness of the situation to dupe people. To start with, they appeal to the emotions of humans, who see the high death toll and suffering. As a result of what is happening, people have been willing to donate funds for medical supplies, isolation centres, and financial compensation for medical workers.

Scammers take advantage of this by posing as charity organisations and solicit for funds. Most times, as soon as their target is met, they clear their footprint without leaving a trace behind.

Another way they scam people is by manufacturing and selling fake or low-quality health products. Everyone wants to get their hands on a cure, or something that can at least protect them from the virus, and scammers are meeting their needs by providing just that.

READ: China joins WHO vaccine programme as it fills huge gap left by United States

The World Health Organization currently approves only one vaccine, and any other thing outside it is outrightly fake or just a supplement that will help your body. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine is clinically tested and approved to work. Be sure to not throw your money in the wind by purchasing some of these fake drugs around.

Lastly, scammers create systems to extract a patient’s personal information, thereby having access to the person’s true identity. It could be in the simple form of opening a registration portal where you supply all your details.

Therefore, only give information to approved bodies and not any random online site that appears legit. These fraudulent individuals can do a lot of damage to your identity. Stay vigilant, only communicate with approved bodies, and always ask questions if you are not sure or suspect foul play.

The place of electronics in COVID-related scams

These fraudsters usually reach out to you through the digital sphere. Hence, watch out for cold calls, text messages, or emails requesting donations to certain bodies. The best way to confirm the legitimacy of such a message is to visit the organisation’s official website in a different browser. Never follow the link in the mail or text directly, as it can be easily embedded with spyware. Therefore, a single click could see them extract all your personal information, including bank details.

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Also, please stay away from those who claim to have a cure, and accompany it with testimonies of people who have used it. They are low graders desperate for your money. Vet them by searching online and see what people are saying. In all, always look out for suspicious messages, and opt out if you are sceptical.

In a nutshell, you should not believe any cure, vaccine or supplement that the World Health Organization does not approve of.

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Conclusion

The government or legit health institutions do not cold call citizens to request donations or coerce them into making one. If you receive a call out of the blues, chances are it’s a scam, which is why they mostly try to hurry you to donate before you realise it. Always consult the institution in charge of health-related matters to confirm any fishy information you come across.

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